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02 November 2005 @ 11:30 pm
Review, "RAW", 11/01/05  
Ohhhhh yeah, bay-bee. That is what I call an episode of SVU!

But before we jump in there, I have a few semi-related complaints that will not affect the episode's overall score.

1) I watch "Commander in Chief" before SVU every week. And every week I miss the last 90 seconds of CiC because it overlaps with SVU and I am not about to miss the start of SVU. WTF? It used to be you'd have at least 60 seconds to get to another channel. When I was younger, it was as long as three minutes! But no, I had to turn the channel in the middle of one character's sentence. ::shakes head:: As I was turning the channel I said to my father, "I'm sorry, Dad. Casey Novak with a gun to her head trumps the problems of the President of the United States." He laughed.

2) How many things are going to fall out of the sky onto the Cook County Hospital, requiring the immediate scrambling of the entirety of the cast of ER? Really. It's getting to the point that I'd be afraid of flying over the damned city if I were a fictional character. And now, with John Stamos joining the cast as a firefighter...well, let the hair wars begin!

Okay....moving on....


Summary of Episode:

Three children are shot while playing on their school's playground before school. One child, African-American, dies. The surviving two are a young Jewish boy with large bug-eye glasses and a little girl of Italian descent. The detectives first suspect a disgruntled employee of the school, then a pedophile uncovered when questioning other students on the lot. Eventually they find the weapon and track it back to the gun store where it was bought. At the gun store they discover a basement Nazi, his son, and a "friend of the family", Star Morrison, whose single act of slapping Munch starts a firestorm of racial hatred and tension that doesn't even begin to explain the full content of this case.

DiNovia's Content Commentary:

A little slow in getting to the actual case. The strange sideshow addition of the elderly pedophile was very...unnecessary. The only thing I can think of is that the writers wanted to make sure the viewers didn't question the fact that SVU was actually investigating this case. As if the average viewer is too stupid to understand that the Special Victims squads are "responsible for [investigating] all violence committed against spouses, children, family members and others that occurs in [the assigned borough]. The unit also handles all cases of sex and violence crimes committed against children." Even without the spectre of an active pedophile, SVU was expected to investigate this case.

Gee, Liv. You know an AWFUL LOT about adoption in New York State. Right down to the actual current stats! Been studying up for ANY PARTICULAR REASON?

Ugh. In the revolting game of Who's the Worst... Is it the 16 year-old racist brainwashee? Is it the repugnant woman with the shrill Southern accent who apparently can smell the Jewish heritage? Is it the 16 year-old's absolutely vile father who is obviously compensating for a very teeny weenie? Is it the fat skinhead (isn't that an oxymoron?) who wants to make "beautiful white babies" with Casey but at the same time will not "discuss business in front of some slash"? Nope, it's none of the above. It's actually the adoptive mother of the dead child. But more on that later.

Never have I ever seen an episode of TV--let alone of SVU--that made me shake with rage and revulsion like this episode did. The actors playing the Ackerman father/son duo did an excellent job making me hate them with every fiber of my being. Fatboy with the dumb-ass shout ("Rahowha"? What is that? Some sort of Wookie thing?) made me laugh with pity. Talk about a textbook Meathead. And Star Morrison...what to say about Star Morrison... Well, let's just say that an Emmy is going to be awarded to someone from SVU with the initials MH. It's just gonna be Marcia Gay Harden, that's all. Wow. Just wow.

I enjoyed the reactions of all the officers to the Nazis and Skinheads. Calm refusal to be baited and yet strong denial of any validity to the racist ideology. And Casey? Our lovely ADA ROCKED!!

Speaking of Casey, she had another "OMG.Marry.Me." line with the following:

CN: "...a jury of your peers."

FB: "Oh good. Skinheads."

CN: "No. Your Human peers."


Also, do you think that Fatboy Skinhead pissed his pants when she said "Come on! It'll be fun! Word will spread! Cowering in your cell 24/7... Going to the mess, wondering if this is the day someone put ground glass in your food..." (I know I am paraphrasing there. I can't remember the exact exchange.) I'm sure I saw that idiot blanch. He was probably thinking "Is she going to pass out the glass shards herself?"

You know, I'm all behind a judge who is so virulently against racists. But...um...Judge Schuyler, sir? IT'S NOT CASEY'S FAULT THESE PEOPLE ARE REPUGNANT RACISTS SO STOP YELLING AT HER! I don't know if you've come across this before in your career but ADAs make deals all the fucking time! It's called legal expertise! Fucktard.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! I AM ABOUT TO SPOIL A TWIST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!



O.M.G. Oh My FUCKING God! I did NOT see that coming!! Star is a FEDERAL AGENT???

I literally said out loud "What the fuck?? Oh my fucking GOD!!" And then I said, "I know someone who's getting an Emmy this year!"

Fucking FANTASTIC twist!! FUCKING.BRILLIANT.



Okay, so I totally thought, based on the nanosecond seen in the preview and commercials all last week, that it was Star holding Casey at gun point. I even wrote a C/O fic based on that supposition. Needless to say I was soooooo wrong. It was Kyle! Since I made my determination on the sole basis of the shape, length, and thickness of his left eyebrow as seen over Casey's shoulder, I have some advice for the actor playing Kyle. *Ahem* STOP WAXING YOUR EYEBROWS!! That.is.all.

Munch was shot in the ass. That's been coming for years. ;)

Did Elliot seem calmer to anyone? Less enraged maybe? Ironbone, what did I tell you about that? People carrying around unresolved DIORAMA anger do.not.get.cured.OVERNIGHT!! You SUCK!

However, you had him shot in the arm. Ouch. /rolling eyes.

Complaint. I want Elliot back with Kathy and the kids. I want Elliot back with Kathy and the kids because I am afraid. Very afraid. Afraid that there will be a weird, drunken pity fuck that results in Olivia being pregnant. Because that would be something that some of these writer hacks would do to us, thereby killing this show--BAM!--dead. Please do not let this divorce go through.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! I AM ABOUT TO SPOIL ANOTHER TWIST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!



So...the parents of the dead boy arranged his death by Nazi racists because they needed the money from life insurance policies to get out of debt. Proving that there is at least one thing more repugnant to all of us than a Nazi racist. i.e. A woman who would--in cold blood--adopt a child simply to kill him for an insurance payout...like he was nothing more to her than an investment property. A woman who, when confronted with her crime, says "We're not racists. We just needed the money." How.fucking.depressing.



DiNovia's Other Commentary:

10:36pm Casey Novak appears on screen for the first time. Three minutes earlier than last week! Hooray! /rolling eyes

Really. Can Diane Neal/Casey Novak get any more beautiful? Ponytail of Lurve? Hawt. Chignon of Chic? Hawt. Pullback of teh Pretty? Hawt hawt hawt!

Vibrant blue is STILL the new pink! Excellent! I love Liv in that color. :D

The postulation by Mr. Ackerman that Cragen is homosexual simply because he is a white man in charge of a police squad made me laugh. The look on Cragen's face when he said it? Made me snarf Gatorade out my nose! LOL

I'm sorry...did anyone notice Liv's hair in this ep? I honest to God wasn't paying attention. What on Earth could have been distracting me? Oh yeah. THAT SHRILL CAR ALARM THAT WAS MGH's ACCENT! Jesus. I actually have to drive 35 minutes into the surrounding woods, cross two swamps, a hog bog, pass two deer stands and call out "Bobbie Jo! Ah'm hooooooume!" before I hear that kind of accent. And lookie! Right there, downtown Manfuckin'hattan! Who knew?

Casey was all snarktastic and I love that about her! That sickly sweet smile saying "Bite me, Old Man" at Murdoch? Lovely. The virtuoso-level eye rolling? Oh-so-wonderful! But her true shining moments were dialogue! Thank you, thank you, writers! MUAH! :)

I think it is hysterical that the most overt, the most consistent subtext in all of the Law & Order shows is between Munch and Fin. It made me go "Awwwwww." It seriously made me go "Awwwwwww"! It's still making me go "Awwwwwwwww!"

Um...could we have had just a leeeeeeeeeeetle bit of a wrap up with Casey after she had a gun to her head and watched two of her friends/colleagues shot, two bailiffs shot, and a judge killed? No, huh? Okay then. I'll write it myself. Can you say C/O-Yay H/C? I knew that you could. ;)

I loved several things about this episode's subtlety. First, Star had to have slapped Munch for one reason and one reason only. To get arrested and start the investigation against the Ackermans because she knew they were involved. And that, my friends, was brilliance on her part.

Second, do you think it was an accident that Cragen went out on a field visit for the first time in years to accompany Elliot "I fantasize about killing pedophiles" Stabler as he questioned an aging pedophile? I don't think so either.

Third, Star's invocation of her Fifth Ammendment rights regarding her name. Smoooooooth.

However, I have a moment of confusion. The Whitlocks were so.damned.believable. I realize the idea was to save that twist for the end but honestly? You have actors portraying people who are supposed to be acting like they care that their adopted kid died when they really didn't care! But that didn't come across! I sat there after the ep was over for five minutes going, "WTF??" I even looked at the clock and postulated that the ep had come in four minutes short and they needed filler. That twist was not a good twist, it was a WTF twist. So unnecessary.

Oh, and I loved Dana's/Star's apologies to Munch and Fin. Nice tie-up of a loose end there. :)

Best episode of this season, so far, people. I'd even go so far as to say that it is the best episode of the last TWO seasons! I struggled long and hard with this final rating. I wavered, I hemmed, I hawed, I chewed my nails... But in the end, that confusion at the end with the Whitlocks and the Fingernails on Chalkboard Accent and the "Elliot is alllllll better" undertone cost this ep one Lime of Loveliness.

DiNovia's Rating:




Twoodles.

DiNovia
 
 
My State of Mind: distressedsing with me now--headachy
What the Voices in My Head Hear: silence, blessed silence
 
 
 
penny_grrl on November 3rd, 2005 05:07 am (UTC)
too funny
Honestly, sometimes after I read your stories and posts I want to propose marriage. Your caliber of writing and wry humor make me squee!

-bekahbabe
seftiri: Casey Kicks Assseftiri on November 3rd, 2005 05:40 am (UTC)
Re: too funny
Awwwww...that's the nicest thing anybody's said to me allll day!

Thanks!! :)
Backwards Girl: Cest la viefight_back83 on November 3rd, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
Wouldn't you figure the one episode I don't catch is a good one?

Still, your reviews are happiness.
seftiri: Mar Grinseftiri on November 4th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC)
Thanks hon! :) Try to catch it on the repeat weekend showing if you can. It's worth it.
Danielle: Casey - Take Me As I Amdani_ellie on November 3rd, 2005 06:18 am (UTC)
That sickly sweet smile saying "Bite me, Old Man" at Murdoch? Lovely.

I just about died when she did that. Oh, so hot.
seftiri: blue angel DNseftiri on November 4th, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
Oh yeah....so hot! :D
shay: makeumineshaych_03 on November 3rd, 2005 06:22 am (UTC)
I am so with you on the timing thing. I missed the beginning of RAW because of CiC. I guess that’s what USA is for? LOL

ER has become a parody of itself. It’s a hospital drama/soap opera that is a guilty pleasure LOL

I think the pedophile was to show that big cases where there’s a lot of witnesses/victims often lead to smaller, but no less horrific situations. I think it gives us a taste of just how pervasive child molestation is, and how almost… blasé it’s become within the fabric of society. And that’s sad. : (

Liv’s been studying the adoption laws so that she and Casey can start a family ;)

I have never heard of the term “slash” as applied to a woman. My fanfic addled brain went, “what? He doesn’t want to talk to a lesbian? Well he can go fuck himself, since no one else ever will…” as for the beautiful babies thing, I suspect that Casey left that jail cell and immediately scrubbed herself clean … *shudder*

LOL wookie thing.

The Human Peers line was classic, but I *adored* the ground glass lines… the way she leaned in… the quirk of her eyebrows, the absolutely dead blank, “I don’t care if you die in utter, screaming agony,” look in her eyes… this is Casey Novak, everyone and she’s here to kick your ass and forget your name.

Casey taken hostage – follow up folks? Um, yeah, you dropped the ball.

Munch shot in the ass? Funny. Follow up with Fin? SuperHoyaytastic LOL

I agree re: Elliot and Kathy… I really hope they don’t “Moonlighting” Benson and Stabler. It would kill the show. Only way it works is if that’s it. Benson and Stabler leave, and we get new detectives (and we c/o fans have ourselves a good cry.)

The parents… ugh. I think the shock value of them turning out to be the instigators… it was good, but badly played. We should have had more clues. MGH showing up at the end with the file was a little too deus ex machina.

Yay for Tiffany Blue… and was that Liv’s sweater Casey was wearing? LOL

Liv’s hair was actually pretty good except for the, greasy, “I haven’t showered in five days” look when Ackerman Sr came in to accuse Cragen of latent homosexuality.

I think I might have been a little more suspicious of Star’s motives for pulling the 5th on her name… and I agree that she had herself arrested purposefully so that she could start the ball rolling…

all in all, i loved this ep. can't wait to see more of this calibur.
seftiri: All Smilesseftiri on November 4th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
I agree, I hope we get more of this type of episode this season. It was simply lovely. :)
Kathryn Erbe's biggest fan: SVU Elliot/Casey=loveaudragoren on November 3rd, 2005 01:36 pm (UTC)
Loved the ep, but it is bothering me a bit. You know I ship E/C (even though I love your C/O stories)Why didn't Casey go to Elliot after the shooting? Why was there no interaction? Why didn't anyone ask how Casey was after being shoved roughly to the ground? weird!
seftiri: IQsseftiri on November 4th, 2005 12:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, I felt the same way! (Thanks, btw, for the compliments re: my writing!) I mean, hello? ADA held at gunpoint? An itty bitty wrap up, please?
rave_review on November 3rd, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
"No. Your Human peers." *grins* Lovely.
I missed RAW too... I feel so horrible!
(I've been lurking for awhile and this is my first time commenting... I do supplicate myself humbly at your Limeshrine)

I don't think that there'll be any hot-n-sweaty E/O lovin' in the show. There was an article in TV Guide a few months ago, and the PTB said that it could ruin the whole plot. Hope that hasn't changed.

Munch got shot in the ass? Whoa. I don't know whether to laugh or look sympathetic.
seftiriseftiri on November 4th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
(I've been lurking for awhile and this is my first time commenting... I do supplicate myself humbly at your Limeshrine)

Welcome! I have lurkers? How cool is that? Please, though, feel free to comment! I'm really friendly and I love talking! Yeah, I know, the last one wasn't so much of a shocker. LOL

I'm glad to hear about the PTB and the E/O thing. That would be...awkward. I prefer to ship possible ships...I don't actually want to see my OTP (Casey/Olivia) in the show beyond a bit of subtext here and there. Hints give me more to work with fic-wise. :)

And yeah, Munch got shot in the ass...and Fin made fun of him while at the same time being very concerned and it was oh-so-cute. LOL


deify_bd_wong on November 4th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
Please do not let this divorce go through.

Oh, believe me, the E/O-shippers are loving the divorce. To paraphrase them: "OMGZ LYK E/O 4EVVA LYK KILL TEH SATAN I MEAN KATHY LOLZ!!!!!!"

Oh, and [loves you]
seftiri: Medsseftiri on November 4th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC)
Loves you back!

And that paraphrase of the E/Oers? Eeeeeeeeeeep! O_o

I'm all for diversity in OTPs but....that's just scary.
purplekudzu on November 4th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Loved the review of course!! And I'm right there with you on the "um...and what about Casey???" at the end of the ep. I ended up staying up all night writing my very first fic because I couldn't get it out of my head.

Yay for a super-good episode--can't wait to watch it again Sunday when USA reairs it!!
seftiri: Limer Lawseftiri on November 4th, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC)
I ended up staying up all that night too, but mostly because I was so ready to start my review. LOL

I read your story and just now remembered to comment! :)

I'm glad you liked the review and even gladder that RAW has inspired more C/O. :D
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: NovakJusticeseftiri on November 5th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it! :)

I wish we could see more of MGH on SVU too. Maybe she could stop by every 3 months or so and work a case with Liv. That would be nice. :D

And yes, Casey Novak needs way more screen time. WAY more.
Shut up and smile: Claire movie black and whitemorningafter2 on November 5th, 2005 05:56 am (UTC)
Yep, you have lurkers. I love reading your reviews, because I tend to just take things at face value. Your reviews make me think about things a bit more.

This was the first episode of this season I've seen all the way through. I saw the last, like... fifteen minutes of Ripped, but other than that, nada. Nice way to start off. This one can just be my season pilot. Or something.

I'm with you on "Your Human peers" and the glass shards. Casey kicked ass in this episode.

I had just returned from the kitchen with a cup of hot chocolate when the courtroom shooting scene happened, and I tripped over something on the ground because I was so distracted by the TV and nearly fell flat on my face. In the end I just spilled all over my t-shirt which I stubbornly refused to clean until the episode was over.

And Star's (who names their kid "Star"? No pressure, eh?) voice annoyed me for a while, but I kind of became numb to it after a while. It's one of those survival techniques I learned from a few years in Texas, I think.

So excellent episode and excellent review of an excellent episode. (That sounded better in my head...)
seftiri: Diane @ Habitat4Humanityseftiri on November 5th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
Lurkers = Love. :) So do friends! And comments!

I was really afraid that SVU had jumped the shark with the season premiere but if they keep this particular type of episode going, then maybe they can redeem themselves.

And yes, the courtroom scene was that riveting. I usually take notes during the eps so I can refer to them later for the reviews. My notes for that scene consist of "OMG! OMFG!! FEDERAL AGENT!!!!" LOL

It was probably my headache that wouldn't let me get numb to Star's accent. LOL

I'm glad you enjoyed the review. Please comment anytime! :)
Shut up and smile: Bebe too cutemorningafter2 on November 5th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the courtroom scene was really well done.

*Grin* Oh, I'll comment. Once I get past the initial worrying about the first comment, I never shut up. Ask anyone, they'll tell you.